When selecting vehicles within the Commonwealth fleet, procurement officials must ensure that the vehicle:

  • is a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) for passenger vehicles, with the preference for a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV)
  • has a ‘five star’ Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)  rating with a date stamp within three years
  • meets minimum ‘fit for purpose’ requirements
  • provides ‘value for money’, including consideration of environmental and climate change impacts.

Where no operationally suitable vehicle exists that meets all the requirements above, Commonwealth entities must provide a business case for the Accountable Authority’s (or their delegate’s) approval detailing the operational requirements that preclude the fulfilment of one or more of the requirements.

Low Emission Vehicles

The Government has committed to reducing carbon emissions by setting a target of 75 per cent of new passenger (including ‘sports utility’) vehicle orders to be LEVs by 2025. This supports the net zero emissions target for the Australian Public Service by 2030.

When selecting a vehicle, entities should prioritise a LEV (preferably a ZEV). LEVs are defined as battery electric vehicles (BEV), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV). A ZEV is defined as a BEV or FCEV.

The first criteria of the policy requires entities to adopt an ‘if not, why not’ approach to the selection of a LEV with the selection of a ZEV for passenger vehicles to be preferenced, and PHEVs only chosen in exceptional circumstances, such as where there is a requirement for substantial regional travel.

This policy does not apply to the selection of vehicles that are to be used for operational law enforcement, covert, defence or national security functions.

  1. To achieve a five star rating from ANCAP  a vehicle must perform to the highest level across all crash tests and assessments. The policy requires that vehicles selected have a date stamp within three years. For the purposes of this policy, the year of rating is not included in the three years. Further guidance and information on the ANCAP rating term is available to Commonwealth entities.
  2. Fit for purpose requirements should be selected by Commonwealth entities based on the minimum requirements necessary to meet the operational needs and to reduce personal preference. Commonwealth entities may only select vehicles that exceed fit for purpose requirements if there is no impact on the remaining fleet vehicle selection policy requirements. Guidance is available to assist Commonwealth entities in determining their fit for purpose requirements.
  3. When selecting a vehicle, the value for money assessment (refer section 4 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs)) must consider:
    1. use of public resources in an efficient, effective, economical, and ethical manner that is not inconsistent with the policies of the Commonwealth.
    2. whole of life costs (including fuel and maintenance costs) over the term of the lease or ownership. Commonwealth entities should obtain a ‘fully maintained and budgeted’ monthly lease quote which identifies whole of life costs, to compare value for money options for both owned and leased vehicles. These quotes are available from the Commonwealth’s fleet services provider. Note: monthly lease quotes exclude charging infrastructure and electricity costs.
    3. environmental and climate change impacts, as required in the CPRs and in accordance with the Government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions. Commonwealth entities should prioritise the selection of a LEV. Where a LEV has not been selected, the delegate must be satisfied that the operational needs cannot be met by an LEV. The Green Vehicle Guide  is a useful tool to inform Commonwealth entities about the environmental credentials of vehicles.
  4. Commonwealth entities may lease or purchase their vehicles. If leasing, then Commonwealth entities are required to lease their vehicles from the Commonwealth’s fleet services provider (currently SG Fleet).
  5. More information is available to assist entities through the GovTEAMS community or by contacting [email protected].

Executive Vehicle Scheme

Accountable Authorities are responsible for developing and administering any Executive Vehicle Scheme policy in their Commonwealth entity. Commonwealth entities operating any Executive Vehicle Scheme should have regard to the content in this Policy when developing their own policy or guidance along with any advice issued by the Australian Public Service Commission.

Federal Parliamentarians

The Remuneration Tribunal is responsible for determining the provision of Commonwealth-leased private-plated vehicles to federal parliamentarians. A list of vehicles that may be selected by parliamentarians is set by the Department of Finance. Parliamentarians are encouraged to select vehicles that align to the principles in this policy.

Transparency and reporting

Finance will publish details of the Commonwealth’s fleet transition to low emissions vehicles. Entity level reporting against the LEV Target is expected to commence from mid-2024.  Visit the Low Emission Vehicle Target page for more information.